If you are planning on setting some New Year’s resolutions, how about trying some of our suggestions?
Follow a training plan
If you are wanting to improve your cycling fitness, following a well-designed structured training plan is essential. We’ve redesigned our training plans and, whether you’re a seasoned rider looking to build their off-season base or a novice just starting out, we’ve got a plan for you. Our plans are also available on TrainingPeaks, which, if you are a British Cycling Member, you can get a 40% discount on a Premium Athlete Edition subscription.
Learn basic maintenance skills
Getting familiar with a few basic maintenance skills will save you time, money and give you a better understanding for how your bike works. With advice from Great Britain Cycling Team mechanics find out how to change your disc brake pads, index your gears, degrease and lube your chain, change an inner tube and replace handlebar tape.
Almost all cyclists could benefit from including regular mobility work in their training routine. It can help you to feel more comfortable on the bike, protect you from injury and even allow you to get a bit more aero. Try these routines from the Great Britain Cycling Team physiotherapists for your back and lower body and for your upper body.
Colds, flu and other bugs can easily scupper your own and other riders’ winter training. Protect yourself and others by resolving to always cough or sneeze into a tissue and then bin it. Always wash your hands properly and, if possible, carry and use an alcohol gel. Find out more about avoiding colds, flu and bugs from Great Britain Cycling Team head of medical services Dr Nigel Jones.
There are still a couple of months of the cyclo-cross season left so, if you want some muddy fun, resolve to enter a local race. You don’t need a cross bike as most will allow you to take part on a mountain bike and the atmosphere is always friendly and inclusive. Find out more and get some skills tips by watching our cyclo-cross videos.
For fatter tyre off-road fun, resolve to do some mountain biking. It will improve your bike handling, build strength, improve your pedalling technique and is a safer option in icy or snowy weather. Check out our Trail Smart videos for technique tips.
The off-season is a great time to hit the gym and do some dedicated strength work. As well as improving your performance on the bike, it can help protect you against injury, boost bone density and improve body composition. Check out this strength routine for cyclists.
Pin a number on
If you are an experienced sportive rider, troubling the leaderboards on Strava or want a new cycling goal, resolve to try racing in 2018. Ease yourself in with some late-season cyclo-cross, maybe try some time-trialling and then, when the season starts, get down to your local closed circuit. You can find out everything you need to know by watching our Racesmart videos.
New Year’s nutrition resolutions shouldn’t involve crash, faddy or drastic diets but sustainable changes towards a healthier diet. A great starting point is reducing processed and pre-prepared food and cooking more for yourself. Check out our easy to follow recipes for on and off the bike.
A common resolution is to do more riding but, for many cyclists, more and improved recovery would be a better option. When it comes to training, quality usually beats quantity so avoid just piling on the miles. If you are following one of our training plans, you will have at least one rest day each week and every fourth week will have a recovery focus. If you are devising your own training, try to do similar and check out these recovery tips.
Join a club
If you aren’t part of a club already, resolve to join your local cycling club. You will meet like-minded people, pick up tips from experienced riders, learn valuable group riding skills and, if you are interested, get advice on getting into racing.